This week I’d like to dive back into the world of Ayurveda (read here if you are new to Ayurveda) and talk a bit about ayurvedic body and mind types. I’m sharing this stuff because I firmly believe when you are able to make choices in your life that bring you in to a state of balance, you will be much healthier… mind, body and spirit. And to make wise (most of the time 😉 choices, knowledge is power.
There are three ayurvedic body and types referred to as doshas, they are vata, pitta and kapha. I will get in to each one of these more in a moment but for now I’ll back it up and describe in general terms what the doshas are to give you a little more clarity.
The three doshas are derived from the five elements I talked about in a previous post; earth, water, fire, air and ether. Our physical, mental and emotional bodies are made up of all of these elements but each person has their own unique ‘blend’ they are born with.
As I mentioned above, when our constitutions are in balance…mind, body and spirit we are in a state of health or ease in the Ayurveda world. I don’t mean balance in that all elements are equal, just that our current state of all those elements (called your vikrti) is in balance with your born state of all those elements (called prakrti)
The thing is, most of us are not in balance and this, again according to Ayurveda, is what leads us to a state of dis’ease’. To bring yourself closer to that balance you need to know what prakrti is and then to understand where you might be out of balance with your vikrti. The body and mind give us lots of signs of imbalance, we just need to pay attention to them. When we are not in balance we called this our dosha. Yikes… I hope I’m not complicating this too much. Bottom line is… we want to aim for a state of balance! Balance, balance, balance.
To find out what your dosha is, do this quiz. There are many out there on the www but I like this one from Dr. John Douillard because he covers many different aspects of our being including our mental state, behavior, emotions, physical and fitness profile. Once you do the quiz you will see that you are most likely dominate in one or two doshas or you might be fairly equal in all three (called tri-doshic).
To get into each dosha a little further…
The vata dosha is related to the air element and is associated with the late fall and winter. Vata dominant folks tend to be thin and active, they tend towards dryness of the skin, joints, hair etc. and are often physically cold. Mentally the vata dosha can be restless, hyperactive and creative. These are the people that appear as though their feet never touch the ground and seem light and airy… mind and body. When a person’s vata is out of balance they may have issues with dry skin, their joints, nervous system and they may feel scattered mentally and un-grounded.
The pitta dosha is related to the fire element which you can see would be associated with the summer months. Pitta dominant folks tend to have a muscular frame and are usually very active. They often run hot and may have sensitive skin. They are the passionate driven types. When a person’s pitta dosha is out of balance they may have issues with their digestive system, skin including rosacea and rashes and may be short tempered.
The kapha dosha is related to the earth element which is mostly related to late winter and spring. Kapha dominant people are often called big boned and can be quite strong. They often have thick hair and large features (big teeth, eyes, etc,) They are the slower, calmer, more methodical types. A kapha inbalance in an individual look like excess congestion, weight gain and individuals may find it hard to be motivated and active.
These are very general descriptions of each dosha and if you do the quiz, you will see what your constitution is made up of. We are all three in certain quantities tending usually to be dominant in one vs the others.
Next week I’ll talk about ways to bring your current doshic state (again, your vikrti) in line with your natural born state (your prakrti). Things like our diet, lifestyle, where we live, the season, our indoor environment and more contribute to have in balance we are. Sometimes all we need are small tweeks to line ourselves up a little more with what’s going on in our lives and become a little closer to homeostasis.
For this week, do the quiz to see where you lie and start to notice where you feel in or out of balance, mind and body.
What do you think? Is this stuff interesting to you? Are you interested in working towards more of a state of balance? I love the idea of getting in line with my true nature a little more. I have made some adjustments to my diet and lifestyle and have noticed a change. I’ll share more about that next week but will leave it here for now! Reach out if you have something you’d like to share or a question. I love hearing from you.